Oregon children who missed out on free or reduced-price meals at school - because of the pandemic -will soon be receiving food benefits in the mail.
There are two ways children will receive the Pandemic-EBT card. If a child’s household currently participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP—the additional benefits will be deposited into that account.
Otherwise, eligible families will receive a card by mail to the address on file with the school. Jake Sunderland is with the Oregon Department of Human Services. He said starting this week, families should keep an eye out for mail from South Dakota.
“Open it up," he said. "The P-EBT card looks different than the usual Oregon Trail EBT card. So when you see this unfamiliar card from the South Dakota address, it is legitimate. It is money for food for your student.”
Sunderland said about $497 million dollars will be distributed to 450,000 students in Oregon. Benefits will be issued in July, August and September.
ODHS and Oregon Department of Education share responsibility in ensuring that children across Oregon receive P-EBT food benefits. ODE collaborates with school districts across Oregon to determine eligibility and ODHS issues the benefits on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.
P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered, and families are encouraged to continue participating in grab-n-go-meals or emergency food programs at their local schools and community locations.